Besides the charming fishing villages and fairytale bays, the Algarve is also known for the countless caves that can be found there, including Benagil. It is the most famous cave in the Algarve and a real attraction. The cave is named after the village of Benagil, from where the cave is best to visit.
It is a limestone cave, over 20 million years old, where erosion has created a natural cavity. In the cave you will find a sandy beach. A visit is especially spectacular in the morning and evening. This is due to the light coming through the hole at the top of the cave.
Although it may seem close, it is not recommended to swim to the cliff. It is best to join an organized tour. The tours are very popular in July and August, so it is advisable to book the tour in advance. With such a boat trip you sail along the cliffs to the cave. Here you have time to hit the beach and take some pictures. When you book a longer tour you will see a larger part of the coast, including about 20 other caves.
If you prefer more comfort and tranquility, a catamaran is a good option. These tours depart from Albufeira and last approx. 3 hours. Do not only admire the cliffs, but also keep an eye on the water, it may just be that dolphins swim along the boat!
More active ways to discover the cave are by kayak or stand up paddle. With a kayak tour you will also visit some other caves on the way and there will be a break in the Benagil cave. Stand up paddling is best done under supervision. As well as the kayak tour, you will not only visit the Benagil cave, but also some other caves along the way. The guides are friendly and explain the technique calmly, but bringing a second set of clothes is not a luxury.
The last option to visit the Benagil cave is by foot. You cannot enter the cave, but you can view it from above. For this you can follow the hiking trail that leaves from Praia de Benagil. For safety, a wooden balustrade has been placed so that you cannot get too close to the eye. You will not have the best experience from this spot, so we recommend that you join one of the above tours.
Benagil is relatively small, which gives it an authentic look and feel. Next to the cave, the biggest attraction is the sandy beach. The beach is surrounded by high cliffs and has plenty of facilities. The water can be quite rough, so caution is advised. With a bit of luck you will see the fishermen bring in their catch and transfer it from the boat to the restaurants.
There are a number of restaurants in Benagil that are open all year round. From many of these restaurants you have a beautiful view of the cliffs and the beach.